Before the Rains Begin

Posted on Sep 12, 2008 | Comments Off on Before the Rains Begin

6 great iPhotos

Greetings from Larrapin Garden on the day before the rains start (again). Hurricane Ike’s rains should get up to NW Arkansas on Saturday and we could get soaked. Nothing compared to what may happen down in Texas. We’re supposed to get up to 4 inches each day this weekend, compared with potential 15″ of rain in Houston. Geesh, what a rainy year. We’d already had our usual yearly rainfall by June or July this year…

All the rain has had an amazing result on all the greenery and some things are still blooming even as the weather has started to get cool early. Those are scarlet runner beans growing on a fence and a happy bumble bee. The seed packed said “loved by hummingbirds” and that is so true. These are the 2008 favorites of the four hummingbirds that hang out at Larrapin.

6 great iPhotos

Meanwhile, the Monarchs finally arrived after being absent nearly all summer. I think they are not so fond of all this rain.

6 great iPhotos

The last month has been AMAZING for butterflies. We’ve finally got enough nectar plants to have been noted on the butterfly flight paths it seems! Their favorites: Tropical Milkweed (favored over the native perennial I see, but will plant more of both), four butterfly bushes (wow, deadheading will keep them blooming ALL the time), and scarlet runner beans plus assorted flowers. We’ve also got a lot of host trees – oaks, willow, river birch, wild cherry, with more to come such as Paw Paw…

6 great iPhotos

This is a blurry photo, but it’s the first time I’ve seen this type of butterfly here. Will have to look it up. Anyone know the name?

6 great iPhotos

Don’t let this pic fool you. It’s from mid-July I think, when we had enough dry weather to have good tomatoes… The one in my hand is the old fashioned Brandywine, which turns out to be as good as everyone says. The one on the right is Cherokee Purple, which we LOVE but this year’s batch was abysmal between the rain and the first time onslaught of stink bugs on the tomatoes. Will study up on organic control of those buggers next year. They poke the tomatoes just enough to scar them and make them prone to rot. We’ve had a few Ananas Noir (not pictured — but they are soft red and green swirled, both inside and out) and the oddly colored tomato remains the favorite tomato of Larrapin.

So I’ll end this post with a chicken photo since the next post will be a Buckeye update. This unusual chicken is one of the two I picked up as day-old chicks at the hardware store to be companions for the solitary guinea that hatched back in June. The grab-bag chicks are both solid black. One (not pictured) is an Ameraucana,which was confimed when she laid her first blue-green egg! The second black chick has grown up to be quite lovely. Is she a jungle-fowl variety of chicken? Not really sure, will study on that later… Here she is. The white blob in the foreground is the lone guinea chick grown up. And completely convinced she is a chicken. Which is a good thing. It makes her the ONLY guinea who reliably roosts in the chicken house every night. From now on, all my guinea will be raised by chickens!

6 great iPhotos

Thanks for stopping by Larrapin before the rain!

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